Friday, 8 November 2019

Friday Friyay: Paulina Flores' 'Humiliation'

It's finally Friday. This week has felt like a year for some reason. Work really has been a lot for the past few weeks so I'm really looking forward to a weekend of nothing. Well, not nothing! Hopefully there'll be plenty of reading and blogging. So let's start the weekend off right with some blog-hopping fun!

Let's get started with Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader, hosted by Gilion Dumas, and Friday 56 at Freda's Voice, hosted by Freda. Today I'm featuring my latest read: Humiliation: Stories by Pauline Flores, which was actually released yesterday! My review is coming tomorrow.
An uncompromisingly honest collection of short stories, examining with unique perspicacity the missteps, mistakes and misunderstanding that define our lives. 
A father walks the streets of Santiago with his two daughters in tow. Jobless, ashamed, and blind to his older child's adoration, he unwittingly leads them to the scene of the greatest humiliation of his life. 
A woman catches the eye of a young man outside a library. The pair exchange a cigarette and a few brief words, but what should have been nothing more than a brief flirtation soon takes a darker turn. 
Throughout the nine tales that make up this astounding debut, Paulina Flores narrates with astonishing clarity the moment in which her characters stumble from an age of innocence to the harsh reality of disillusionment. 
Written with uncompromising honesty, tenderness, and a Carver-esque attention to detail, Humiliation establishes Paulina Flores as one of the most exciting new voices in Latin America today.
Humiliation: '"Are we almost there?" moaned Pia. "I'm tired." Simona watched her younger sister panting and dragging her feet. "Shhhh," she said, "quit whining."' 1%
This is from the collection's first tale, 'Humiliation'. I found its representation of the relationship between two sisters incredibly poignant but was also blown away by how artfully Flores' crafted the bonds between the different family members. It is the kind of story that your mind continues to ponder over after you read it and my thoughts on it have only gotten more complex.

Laika: 'What I'm going to relate here happened the last summer of my childhood, or what I understand to be my childhood, a sort of instinctive or unconscious state that came before my life changed and took on a definitive direction.' 56%
This is the opening line of the story 'Laika' and it's a great start. I think we all have a moment like this, that we look back on as the moment where childhood ended. It is usually a very ambiguous moment, one that brings both good and bad memories back with it. Reading this story, Flores beautifully showed that moment of awareness we all have at some point, that we are now at a crossroads and that things, that we, will be different.

I've also rediscovered the gem that is Book Blogger Hop, hosted over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

Book Blogger Hop

Can you stop reading before the end of a chapter? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

Ooh that's a hard question! It reeeaalllyy depends! Usually, the answer is no. The ending of a chapter is the perfect point at which to take a break from a narrative. However, in some genres the end of a chapter is often a cliffhanger, which means that it's even harder to stop. That is how I find myself reading until 4am! 

The only time I stop midway through is if, for example, a paragraph ends on a particularly poignant note or carries some weight. Sometimes I end on a particularly squeal-worthy moment or on the very brink of a moment of action. I usually read during my lunch breaks and just before bed, so the excitement of ending on the cusp of something then carries me through the rest of the day or night.

Do you finish end of chapter-only? Or do you change it up sometimes? And let me know what you think of the quotes from Humiliation!


  1. Humiliation seems like an interesting read.

  2. This sounds like such a compelling read. I'm adding it to my list.

    My Friday post:

  3. Sounds like a wonderful collection of shorts! Happy weekend!

  4. It sounds like the writing is beautiful, so I wish they had chosen a different cover image. The title is hard to read.

    Totally agree about chapters ending in cliff hangers. I wish more authors were like Diana Gabaldon and wrote in bathroom breaks.

  5. I'm going to have to check into this. :)